Hello everyone, Mege here. With the release of the Warden rework, I decided to finally make a new Warden guide. This guide will cover everything, from the basics to advanced gameplay. I’ll leave timestamps in the description, although I suggest you check all of it! Let’s start right away with Warden’s identity: he’s a straightforward hero with few simple but powerful tools. Because of this, the Warden player really needs to master these tools for the best chance of success. In the first section, I will cover all of Warden’s moves. Top Light A 500ms attack dealing 15 damage, Top Light used to be our main tool in neutral alongside Zone Attack. It has a longer reach than one would think and Crushing Counterstrike properties (more on that in the next section). However, at high level, 500ms attacks aren’t hard to react to, and Warden’s static guard does a poor job of hiding his attack’s direction. This, coupled with the fact that Top Light’s animation is easy to tell from Top Heavy, makes the move somehow risky. Side Light They’ve been finally sped up to 500ms but also received a damage nerf in the process.
When the first one connects, you can quickly press the light attack button again to get a guaranteed second Side Light, dealing 12+6 damage. Do not change attack direction for this to work. A common mistake when using Double Side Lights in neutral is to buffer the second one too early, resulting in an easy parry for the opponent if you miss, especially because chained Side Lights are atrocious, at 600ms speed. Just like Top Light, 500ms attacks with static guard are still risky at high level, and the obvious animation doesn’t help either.
Top Heavy Warden’s slowest attack, Top Heavy is a 900ms attack dealing a whopping 40 damage. Sometimes it tracks back dodges, but where it really shines is in the chained version. It’s 1100ms, still dealing 40 damage, and unblockable. It’s a good way to finish your chains, but more on that later. Side Heavy They’re 800ms fast and deal 30 damage. They don’t track side dodges as good as one would think, but with the chained version now dealing 40 damage, using them as chain finishers isn’t bad. Zone Attack A 500ms attack dealing 20 damage and always hitting the opponent’s left guard. It covers a wide arc and is very good against dodges. Despite the fairly obvious animation it’s much harder to react to compared to other 500ms attacks because, being a zone attack, it can be thrown from any guard direction. It drains half your stamina and is atrocious on whiff, having a long recovery. However, with the rework, Warden can now chain a Heavy Attack after Zone Attack, making it a much more useful tool in neutral, albeit still stamina intensive. It’s considered a Heavy Attack, so even when parried usually doesn’t lead to high punishment, but again, watch out for your stamina! Shoulder Bash Warden’s most important tool, it’s an unblockable melee attack with variable timings.
It’s performed by pressing the GuardBreak button after a Dodge or a Light Attack. All different levels of charge guarantee Double Side Lights, except for the MAX charge, which guarantees a Top Heavy and has hyper armor. To charge, simply hold down the GuardBreak button. Shoulder Bash can be feinted any time while Warden is charging, by pressing the Feint button, up until he actually starts moving. I will further elaborate on Shoulder Bash in the next section. Rushing Slash – Fast running attack, 400ms fast dealing 15 damage, always hitting the opponent’s right guard. It’s good at tracking fleeing opponents. Can be used somehow effectively as an unlocked mix-up with Zone Attack.
It can now be chained into Heavy Finishers, and is considered a Heavy Attack. Valiant Breakthrough Warden’s new move, is performed by inputting Heavy Attack while dashing forward. For a heavy it’s very fast, 500ms and deals 20 damage. However, it can’t be feinted. Its main use is closing the gap and beating rolls, which are a common answer to Warden’s Shoulder Bash mix-up. Considering its speed it can be used in neutral as a somehow surprising attack, just don’t abuse it. You can chain a Heavy Attack after it. Alright, with all of Warden’s moves covered it’s time to move his core mechanics. Crushing Counterstrike A very powerful counter-attack dealing 40 damage, Crushing Counterstrike is performed by using a Top Light against the opponent’s Top stance attack, much like a parry. However, Crushing Counterstrike has a 100ms startup and 200ms active time, and if you weren’t in Top stance already, you also need to wait for the Guard Switch Delay before throwing the Top Light.
Overall, it’s very hard to use it on reaction if you weren’t already in Top Stance, and if you are, smart opponents usually won’t throw many attacks from that direction. When it connects it can be chained into a guaranteed Top Light, or a Heavy attack or Shoulder Bash. Try to use it sparingly, as it can be easily baited: if you use a Top Light every time the opponent throws a Top Stance attack, they will soon catch on and feint into parry, leading to a big punish on you. In general, parrying is much safer, but Crushing Counterstrike can be attempted as a mix-up now and then, since it beats Feint into GuardBreak. Forward Dash Warden’s forward dash has very low recovery of 300ms, making it a fairly safe movement option.
It’s commonly used to get into Shoulder Bash, but the low recovery means you can also quickly throw an attack out of a dash, for example a Top Light. Doing so now and then will keep your opponent on his toes as he’ll have to watch out for more than just Shoulder Bash. Be careful with using Heavies out of forward dash though, as you might unintentionally get a Valiant Breakthrough. Shoulder Bash Punishing Side dodge Shoulder Bash can be used to effectively punish many moves on whiff. However, many times you’d actually be better off with using a simple GuardBreak. Be wary of your inputs, and learn the timing for GuardBreaking after a dodge instead of Shoulder Bashing. As a side note, remember Shoulder Bash is vulnerable to GuardBreak in the early frames of its wind-up animation.
Shoulder Bash Mix-Up This is a very important part of Warden. When you enter Shoulder Bash, both you and your opponent have some options you can choose to perform. For example, you can charge Shoulder Bash or feint it. Let’s analyze all of Shoulder Bash options in depth: Uncharged Shoulder Bash This beats an opponent standing still or throwing an attack, if the attack isn’t thrown very early. It loses to dodging and rolling. Charged Shoulder Bash Warden can charge Shoulder Bash with various timings before going into MAX Charge.
These timings essentially serve the same purpose of catching dodges with the added benefit that you can actually react to your opponent dodging and release Shoulder Bash accordingly. This loses to rolling and fast attacks. MAX Charged Shoulder Bash This beats early dodges. It’s slow, has good tracking and is the most rewarding option. Thanks to the Super Armor, it can also trade with attacks. It also catches bad rolls, for example diagonal ones, but still loses to a proper back roll, or a well timed dodge.
Feinted Shoulder Bash Feinting Shoulder Bash can be an effective way to force a reaction from your opponent, for example a dodge attack, for an easy parry. It’s the overall safest option, although when you feint it you can’t block immediately. It’s also a way to beat the common roll option, by feinting into Valiant Breakthrough. Something to keep in mind is that, with the bigger feint window we got, you should try and feint as late as possible. It’s much easier to bait a reaction with the animation like this. Warden’s Shoulder Bash is also very susceptible to being interrupted in neutral. If you keep that in mind, you can feint into a Parry when the opponent tries it. Vortex The commonly used term ‘vortex’ refers to Warden’s ability to hit you with Shoulder Bash, Double Side Light, and then start again. With the new rework though, it seems the stamina cost for the vortex has gotten higher, and Shoulder bash is now very easily punished on whiff with as GuardBreak, even when the opponent dodges back.
All of this, coupled with the lower damage on Double Side Lights, means that the overall best Shoulder Bash option is the MAX Charged one, with its very good reward and good tracking. Unblockable Mix-Up The new Top Heavy Unblockable can be used to force reactions. Just like most unblockables, the opponent can either parry it or wait for the feint. This makes the move a great combo ender, also allowing for a feint into Valiant Breakthrough should the opponent opt for rolling away. Sadly, the feint window happens a little too early into the animation, making this mix-up reactable at high level. Still, even against experienced players, it might work under pressure. Let’s now talk about punishes. It’s very important to get as much damage as possible when we manage to break through our opponent. Heavy Parry Double Side Light for 18 damage, usually followed by Shoulder Bash mix-up or Unblockable mix-up if the stamina allows it. You can also go for a Zone Attack for 20 damage, though using half your stamina. Light Parry Top Heavy for 40 damage, can chain into the Unblockable mix-up.
GuardBreak Side Heavy for 30 damage, can be chained into the Unblockable mixup. You can also opt for Double Side Light, netting less damage but allowing you to go into the Shoulder Bash mix-up. GuardBreak Throw Wallsplat Top Heavy for 40 damage, chains into the Unblockable mix-up. Contrary to popular belief, the Top Heavy is guaranteed on all distances from the wall. Simply make sure to switch your guard to Top before throwing. GuardBreak Throw OOS The old OOS punish doesn’t work in neutral anymore, being replaced with the less buggy Valiant Breakthrough into Side Heavy, for 60 damage. Make sure to use the Valiant Breakthrough right away. If the opponent regains his stamina during the punish he can get a guaranteed GuardBreak after getting up. GuardBreak Wall Throw OOS If there is a wall, you can get a Side Heavy into a Side Heavy for 70 damage. Make sure your guard is on the side before throwing, and use the first Side Heavy from that side. OOS Parry Side Heavy into Side Heavy for 70 damage. Shoulder Bash MAX charge grants a Top Heavy for 40 damage, all other levels of charge grant Double Side Lights for 18 damage.
Crushing Counterstrike Crushing Counterstrike into Top Light for 55 damage. Regarding OOS punishes and pressure, do know that even with the right input the max punish can be a little buggy and not always work, especially on uneven terrain. Also, when looking for a way to get into Shoulder Bash against an OOS opponent, know that Top Light pushes the opponent farther than Side Lights, making a chained uncharged Shoulder Bash most likely to miss if they back dodge right away. For the last part of this video, I want to reference my old guide a bit, and talk about the fundamentals to have when approaching fights in For Honor.
While I’ll reference Warden moveset, these tips are useful regardless of the character you play. Knowledge Knowing what the various heroes can and can’t do is extremely important. One of the reason people feel overwhelmed by new heroes is because they’re not used to them and don’t understand their general playstyle. For example, when facing Peacekeeper, you know that you have to watch out for her Zone Attack, her bleed cancel, her Heavy Soft Feint into GuardBreak, her dodge attacks and so on. This applies to all heroes, and the knowledge is built both over time, while playing, and by reading up information online, or asking questions in the community. Sadly, there’s no easy way to learn all of this quickly. But give it time, don’t get discouraged and try and understand what’s happening in that fight. Why did Raider Counter Guard Break while dodging? Why couldn’t I dodge that Orochi’s dodge attack? Ask yourself questions, seek answers, and keep all of this in mind when facing that specific hero.
A simple example? Be wary of throwing top stance attacks against a Warden in top stance, due to his Crushing Counterstrike. Game Plan Of course, the knowledge applies to our hero as well, and translates into having a game plan. With that, I mean having some objectives in the fight that you actively seek. Even after reading this guide, once you get into a fight you might feel disoriented, lost: what do I do? It’s definitely no easy task, and I can’t give you an exact answer, as not all players play the same.
A generic plan could be feint Shoulder Bash to bait a Dodge Attack against assassins. Again, this is something that will definitely come with time, but I suggest you watch gameplay of a lot of different Warden players, see what they do, and with time you’ll be able to gain something from them and create your own playstyle. However, a game plan is only a generic guideline, and as no duel nor opponent is ever the same, this brings us to our next point. Learn and Adapt Learning and adapting accordingly may sound simple on paper, but really isn’t, and ties back into the knowledge section. I will give you a very basic and simplified example.
As Warden, we use our uncharged Shoulder Bash, but our opponent rolls away as soon as we do, avoiding it. This happens once, twice and even a third time. At this point, we should have LEARNED that our opponent usually answers Shoulder Bash by rolling away. Now, what can we do to ADAPT? With the proper knowledge of our hero, we know that if we feint our Shoulder Bash and use a Valiant Breakthrough we can beat rolls. So the fourth time we use Shoulder Bash we do just that, and we actually catch our opponent! Great, now it’s going to be easy! Except it won’t.
Our opponent isn’t a machine, and competent players will also adapt to your playstyle during the fight! They have learned that we know how to counter their rolling, so they might adapt by waiting in place for the Shoulder Bash feint, or even attack us while we cancel. They probably learned that we use Shoulder Bash a lot too, so they might throw some GuardBreaks in neutral to catch us entering it! This process continues for the rest of the fight and is usually described as mind games. It’s extremely interesting and satisfying, but can also be hard and frustrating. Keep in mind this was a basic example, and in practice mind games have a lot more depth.
Overall, you should always carefully watch your opponent. Don’t get stuck on your hero and your playstyle. Identify their preferred chains, patterns, answers to things you do, and so on, and adapt accordingly! Mindset My last tip is about the right mindset you should have when playing For Honor, or most competitive games in general. Always seek improvement. Losses will happen along the way, never let them drag you down or make you salty. Accept there are players who are better than you, and instead of looking down on them, strive to surpass them. And always ask yourself, ‘why did that work?’ and ‘why didn’t that work?’. I hope you enjoyed this video. You won’t hop back into the game and immediately win every duel. As they say, practice makes perfect, and nothing is earned right away. I believe, though, that this guide will help you in your learning process.
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